Healthy versions of your toddler’s favourite food
As your little one grows, your once-compliant baby becomes a toddler who knows her own mind – especially when it comes to meal times.
Chances are her idea of what makes a good meal is a bit different from yours! You know the importance of giving your growing child the right kind of fuel. Yet despite your best efforts, getting your toddler to eat healthily can become a daily battle.
But, with some subtle swaps, you can make her favourite choices healthier – without her even noticing…
Pizza doesn’t have to be written off as ‘junk food’. Creating your own is quick, easy and cheap – and gives you the chance to sneak in some healthy toppingss.
Buy readymade bases and spread with tomato puree – rich in a disease-fighting antioxidant called lycopene. Tomatoes are also packed with immune-boosting vitamin C.
For the topping, try a ham and pineapple combo to up her fruit intake. Add sliced sweet peppers and you’ll be aiding good digestion as well.
And the cheesy layer provides calcium for growing bones and healthy teeth.
Whether it’s a tomato or cheese-based sauce, add some broccoli – it contains vitamin K (needed for healthy bone development), calcium and vitamin C – and a few frozen peas for extra vitamins and minerals.
Stick to white pasta though as wholewheat pasta contains too much fibre for a toddler. This can reduce the absorption of minerals such as calcium and iron.
All toddlers love chips, and with these healthy versions there’s no reason they shouldn’t keep enjoying them!
Choose sweet potatoes instead of white ones, as these have all the nutritional value of ordinary potatoes, plus vitamin C and iron, too. They’re also a good source of B vitamins, which help maintain balanced moods – handy for a 2 year old!
Bake thick cut chips in the oven using olive oil, which contains monounsaturated ‘good’ fats.
Tomato ketchup has some health benefits, but it contains sugar, so keep an eye on those squeezy bottles.
Active kids burn off a lot of energy, but little tums can’t cope with big meals.
Carrot sticks make a great between-meals snack, and contain betacarotene – a rich source of vitamin A that is essential for healthy skin.
Try serving with an avocado dip, which has B vitamins for energy. Or even try protein-rich houmous, which will keep her going for longer.
Breadsticks are good if your toddler won’t eat carrots.
Not all desserts are sinful – some puddings can be tasty and healthy. Baked apples and keep the skin on to retain vitamins.
Baked bananas are energy-packed and great for digestion – serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt for an extra calcium boost and sprinkle a handful of raisins on top for a sweet treat.
Who would have thought that healthy food could be so yummy!